Being one of the guys got me into trouble on more than one occasion back in my college days, as my bantering and joking were sometimes (mis)interpreted as amour. What is THAT? A rose? NOOOOO!!!!! This was supposed to be a game of Monopoly. Now you've gone and ruined it. I can never buy Boardwalk from you again! And so would end a beautiful friendship. Blech.
The Lord has blessed me with five daughters. They are beautiful girls and young women. Most of them are feisty and enjoy a good game of Capture the Flag, for which I am eternally grateful. But one of them, my middle daughter, goes against the flow of the other females in my home. She is quiet and even-tempered and loves all things feminine. Her name is Grace, and I can't think of anyone more aptly named.
My Grace is really a Chanel girl. She is the one who comes downstairs dressed for church in pearls and a chignon. She is a budding artist, who has a knack for seeing the beauty in the world around her. Not only can she sketch the rose on the table in front of her; she can also draw things from her imagination, like Edwardian gowns or intricate pastoral scenes. Grace is also teaching herself the piano. And she doesn't pick movie themes like her siblings do. Rather, she chooses classic pieces like "Angels from the Realms of Glory."
While the rest of the family enjoys the great outdoors, Grace does not like camping. I sense that my friend Susan has been having toxic conversations with her about sleeping on the ground or going without air conditioning. (I can always tell when the Queen is trying to groom a princess.)
Even Grace's mode of communication is gentle. When I asked her if she would like to join our speech club next year, she didn't give me the snide response typical of our family. (They get that from their father's side...) She simply shrugged her shoulders and said, "Well, no, I don't think I'm interested in that." No sarcasm, no rolling eyes, no I'd-rather-have-bamboo-shoved-under-my-fingernails snarky response. Just a simple, straight-forward answer. Grace observes a lot of what her mother likes and thinks, "Blech."
For someone like me, who tends to keep the nose to the grindstone, I find that I am challenged by Grace to be one of the girls. I am learning from my beautiful daughter and her gentleness and gentility to stop every once in a while and smell the roses. This world needs more Graces. But I'm just thankful to have some special Grace in my own home.